Friday, March 14, 2014

Hair-Free at Last, thank God almighty I am hair-free at last

We have come a long way since the 60's and 70's.  Women are now "hairless from the eyebrows down," as Jonah Hill's character in the "Wolf of Wall Street" recently put it.  A current issue of Cosmopolitan proposed the theory to explain this hair-free phenomenon as due to porn stars being bush-free, and the indirect pressure women may receive from their boyfriends or spouses to emulate this look.  Some advocates will profess the beauty and cleanliness of less hair, and others will argue that it adds a strange, juvenile look.  On a positive note, it seems it may be a way for adults to look and feel younger.  While I am not necessarily advocating this look, I don't think it causes any significant health problems except maybe a little less protection from chill when it's cold out.

If you are ready to embrace this look, here is my advice regarding the options available to remove the hair.  If you are committed long-term to being hair-free, do not try shaving alone because you may struggle to keep up and suffer lots of razor bumps in the process.  Waxing may last a little longer and when done well may give fewer bumps and less irritation than shaving. 

Ideally, laser hair removal can be done for permanent "thinning."  What does "permanent thinning" mean?  Most of the hairs do go away in a dark haired person with lighter underlying skin, but there could be a few stray stubborn hairs remaining even after the suggested 6 treatments.  Some locations are more stubborn than others, or more resistant to the laser, especially areas where the hair growth cycle is slower, such as upper lip and chin.  I have treated darker skinned patients, and it is done the safest with the Yag laser (not Alexandrite).  Safe meaning the laser is able to distinguish the hair from the dark skin and not cause too much burning or irritation.  The Yag laser is more painful than Alexandrite and Diode, but it is possible to make the procedure more tolerable with use of cold gel, cold air, and/or numbing cream.  In-office prescription numbing cream (usu. 5-6% Lidocaine) tends to be much stronger than over-the-counter, and is not safe to use in large skin areas. 

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